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to them saying... >> baptizing them in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit. teaching them to observe all that i've commanded you. and i'm with you always, even to the end of the age. [music]
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sing this hymn together. holy, holy, holy. lord god almighty. early in the morning our song shall rise to thee. holy, holy, holy. merciful and mighty. god in three persons, blessed trinity.
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crown him with many crowns, the lamb upon his throne. drowns all music but its own. awake my soul and sing. of him who died for me. and hail him as my matchless king through all eternity. you're holy. you're worthy. of worship and our praise. of all honor, all power.
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all glory to your name. you're holy. you're worthy of worship and our praise. all honor, all power, all glory to your name. holy, holy, holy. lord god almighty. all thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea. holy, holy, holy.
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merciful and mighty. god in three persons, blessed trinity. all honor, all power, we worship you, most holy. all honor, all power, we worship you, most holy lord. [applauding] >> stress is a killer. i wonder what brings the most
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stress into your life. is it your family? maybe some friend. maybe it's your job. maybe it's your health. maybe it's the direction of our nation. but when you look around, there's just stress everywhere. there's conflict. there is distress about all kind of situations. you look around. you ask yourself the question, whatever happened to peace and joy and all those things we used to talk about? this is a time and a period of great stress. and people are feeling it. and they're bearing it. and they're going to all kinds of means to eliminate it in our life and yet, it doesn't work. there's people for example, who have gone to all kind of drugs, prescription drugs and street drugs. alcohol of all kinds. sex.
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gambling, anything to get rid of this feeling that we have that somehow it's bearing us down and grinding us down and we're looking for an escape. and it's interesting that none of the things we've come up with have any escapement to it. people go to the doctors and say, you know, i'm suffering from great stress. anxiety and doubts and fears all around me. what do i do? well try a few of these. take two here, two there, two there. next month two there, two here, two here. you can go on and on and on. if you don't know how to deal with it, it can kill you. it's interesting the mical profession will tell you that. that it can kill you. but what is the solution? and i want to give you a solution i know works. it's a solution that god has provided for every single one of his children. doesn't come in a bottle or a package.
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but it is absolutely legitimate. and it works. how do i know it works? because, a number of years ago, i was a pastor of this church at that time. i had three television programs and doing all the things a pastor has to do like this, visiting hospital, seeing people, this, all kinds of situations and circumstances. went to the hospital three times in that year. each time i went they gave me all these examinations and they couldn't find a thing. i accept telling them, i'm not sick. i'm tired. well, you know, after the third time, i began to realize, this isn't something that somebody's done to me. i've done this to myself. i've brought on all kinds of stress trying to do more than god intended me to do. and i explained it away by saying i'm healthy and strong and i ought to take advantage of
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every opportunity that comes my way. well that's not even biblical. and so after a period of time i was out for three months. and my son andy and i went to a little island off the coast, and we walked around that island for about six weeks. and he took a court out of school. and we would sing and we would pray and i would cry. and all the time i didn't realize what was going on. finally i did. if i hadn't, i probably wouldn't be standing here today. because stress is a killer. and god taught me something that i'll never forget and probably the only reason i'm standing here now is because i know it works. and i want to share it with you. and listen carefully. you'll be tempted to say, o i know what that's about. no, you don't. just give me a listening ear.
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but give it to god. because he has something to say that can affect the rest of your life starting today. and i'm telling you, it works. you don't have to buy it. you don't have to go anywhere to get it. it's there for the asking. and for coming to him in the right way. you say, don't give me any of that religious stuff. it's not religious. it's a relationship. it's an awesome relationship. and all i ask you to do for your sake is to listen to this message when it comes to the kind of stress that we're talking about here. and so, we said we would title this, god's stress remover. so what is it? i want you to turn to just one passage of scripture. i'll turn to others. in the 14th chapter of matthew. you remember this is one of those occasions in jesus' life when he was going through some stressful times. and think about it.
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when he was talking around there were always crowds around him. please come here. somebody is sick. somebody died. i'm blind. all the things, continuous pressure on the lord jesus. how did he manage to handle all of that? you say, well that's jesus. that's not me. listen carefully. you can stand it. stress can come your way and you can handle it if you handle it in the right fashion. and i'm here to tell you, i know it works. it's worked for me for many years after i had to have god mini me to the wall to teach me a lesson i should have learned earlier than that. you don't hear much about it. handling things in our life. some people would go to a physician and pay them enormous amount of money and lie on the couch and talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.
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and he listens and tells you how much it will cost. come back next week, and i'll listen some more. what i'm going to talk about is the absolute truth. it's not going to cost you anything. no amount of money. but you have to ask yourself the question, do i know how to deal with stress? and if i don't, i'm smart enough to want to listen today because i want a solution, because i agree that it can kill you. so, this is one of those occasions and what's happened here is jesus has fed the five thousand and that was an enormous task. the scripture says in 22 verse of 14th chapter of matthew. immediately he made the disciples get in the boat and go ahead of him to the other side while he sent the crowds away. after he sent the crowds away, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. and when it was evening he was there alone. now, that's just one occasion.
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he says, for example in mark first chapter, jesus would get up early in the morning and go out to the mountain by himself and talk to the father. if you look at his life, most of the time after some dramatic situation occurred, he was by himself, alone up in the mountains somewhere talking to the father. just being quiet. and the apostle paul when he got saved what did he say? i didn't go to jerusalem to talk to the saints and ask them what they believed. he said. i went to arabia. his way of getting away from everything. remember, he was a pharisee. and for him to receive jesus christ as personal savior was suicide in the very beginning. so he did a wise thing. he got alone with god. so you say, well now, what is this that absolutely gives me a sense of freedom i don't have to
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live under stress? listen. it's a single word. but there's more to it than that. the word is solitude. now, there's a difference in solitude and being alone or lonely. so i want to make it very clear. i want to put this on the screen so you understand what the definition of aloneness is. for example. let's look at it for a moment. loneliness, which all of us have felt at some time or another is a separation anxiety. there's anxiety in feeling alone and separated. it's an anxiety brought on by feeling disconnected to your friends and family or children, whatever. out of touch. it is a loss of intimacy or belonging. listen. if you're separated, out of touch, no belonging, a feeling of drifting alone in a universe of uncaring people, feeling of isolation, inner emptiness.
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that's what real loneliness is about. we're not talking about that. but jesus was alone at times. the apostle paul, like all of us have been. but what's the difference in that and solitude? so let's look at solitude for a moment. solitude means to be alone, separated from others, i choose to be alone. i choose to be separated. i choose to be apart from. i choose to withdraw from. loneliness is painful. and all of us have probably experienced the pain of loneliness. loneliness is painful. solitude is not painful. because we choose to be alone. so, when i think about that and i think about choosing it and i think about well what's that all about? what happens when a person gets alone with god? now, i want to clarify something. we're not talking about getting alone to pray and have a bible
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study and read the scripture. no. just getting alone with god period. and what happens is this. that tension and that stress that's a killer begins to drain away. and before long, what was there making you feel like you were tight and you could hardly breathe. you couldn't stand another week or another day and something happens. it all loosens up and all trains away and you begin the next day brand-new. it's all gone. you say, are you telling me that just getting alone with god will do that? i'm not just telling you that. i'm telling you i lived through that. i know it works. pastors are not the only people in the world that have a lot of tension and stress and all the other things, but we certainly have our share. many other people have demands similar. so the issue is this.
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you mean to tell me that if i get alone with god, it's going to change my life? and the answer is absolutely. but you have to understand what's involved in that. so therefore, it's aloneness we choose not loneliness. and it's a decision we come to out of choice. we choose to be alone. for example, a person who fasts abstains from food. it's a choice they make. when a person seeks solitude, what do we do? we abstain from relationships with other people because we want to be only with god. it's a choice we make. so there's lots of scripture examples about jesus. when john the baptist was de headed he went up to the mountains. remember before he was crucified he was in the garden and slipping away from the rest of
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the disciples. he managed the last three years, one of the keys was, he knew how to have solitude with his heavenly father. he didn't have anything that you and i cannot have if we go about it in the right way. and if i should ask you, would you like to be without stress in your life, does this mean you'll never have anymore stress at all? no. it means this. not that you'll have anymore. you know how to deal with it when it comes. we live in a very stressful age everywhere you turn. discord. conflict. all the rest. there's a way to deal with it. the way to deal with it is god's way. that's what we're talking about. so think about it this way. why would god even want us to be alone with him? we've sinned against him.
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there's two primary reasons for it. and the first reason is relationship. now, i want you to think about something. there is only one thing that god created that he could have a personal relationship with. and that is a human being. that makes you very, very special. he doesn't relate to elephants like he relates to us. he doesn't relate to mountains and snow and hail and storms and typhoons and all that stuff. he doesn't relate to all that stuff. he relates to you and me in a very personal way. he said let us make man in our image. what kind of image was that? certainly not a physical image. it was a image of spirit, soul. let us make man in our image. why did god say that? because he desired to have fellowship with us. and you are a creation of god. and therefore, because you're a
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creation of god, you are here in his ultimate primary purpose was to have fellowship with you. he doesn't need anything. he doesn't need any of us to do anything. he can get it done without us. why did he create us? he created us to have fellowship with us. watch this. he created us in order to reveal his love. and his truthfulness. and the comfort and all the things he does for us. that's what it's all about. he doesn't need us. so his desire is to have a relationship with us. which he can express love and goodness and kindness and mercy and provision and protection and all the rest. so that makes every single one of us special. that god made only human beings with whom he would relate to for all eternity. so that's the primary reason. he desires a relationship with us.
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and solitude is the way that relationship becomes a reality in a person's life. when you think about solitude, does that mean if i just get by myself god will do this, that and the other. it's more than that. i want you to see first of all if he created us, he created us for fellowship. you remember in 2 corinthians as well as romans five. he makes it very, very clear his attitude towards us in fifth chapter of romans. listen to what he says in this particular passage. he says, for one will hardly die for a righteous man though perhaps a righteous man someone will dare even to die. but god demonstrated his own love towards us. listen. in that while we were yet sinners, christ died for us. that makes us very special. now, why would he die for us? he could create anything. listen.
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because when he looks at you he desires to have a relationship with you. how can he have the kind of relationship with you if your mind is always on something always busy doing this and busy doing that. you have a scheduled jammed packed. we've all been there. most people will tell you, for example, i just don't have time. if they say, i would like to have you come visit my church, i don't have time. sunday is the only day i have off. listen. i don't have time for god. who created me. who sustains me. who loves me. he died for me. i don't have time for him. foolish. empty. ignorance. sinful. ungodly. unthankful. lack of gratitude. but it's true in the lives of many people. in fact, it's becoming true of more and more people who say they don't have time for god.
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so when i think about his purpose it's very clear. now. that's just one person. there's a second purpose for solitude. not only, not only is it a relationship but the second reason is it's preparation. you and i have the privilege of getting up every morning and spending time with the lord. now let me explain what i mean by that. when i say not necessarily reading the bible it's not a bible study or prayer meeting. your primary purpose is, listen, your primary purpose is to do what? to experience the presence of almighty god. the sovereign god of the universe who will convey himself to you, reveal himself to you, make himself known to you in the most awesome fashion, just you. and solitude is the part of all that.
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it gets us ready for the next day. none of us know what tomorrow holds. how do we want to start tomorrow? how do we want to be sure? how do we want to live peacefully, boldly, fruitfully tomorrow? by starting off the day with the one who will give us guidance and direction, enable us in every single way. what does he want for us? he wants you, just you alone. no i. phones. no telephones at all. no i. pads. and no computers. and no doorbells. and no this, no that, no all the other things that jam and crowd us. he just wants you. when we talk about the whole idea, you've just got to be reading the bible. no. listen carefully. talk about how we experience it in just a second.
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but you can, listen, you can experience god alone, by yourself. you don't have to read the bible. but here's the purpose of the bible primarily. it's reading the scriptures to begin with that gets me, gets me thinking godly. opens my mind. in other words, i'm introducing god into my life. we'll talk about how in a moment. but the word of god is important. it's not a prayer meeting. it's not a bible reading. it's not a bible study. it's a matter of being alone with god. solitude is just you and god. now, most folks are frightened by being alone. it's scary not to have somebody close by. and so to talk about being alone
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is a little distant to them. let me ask you this. do you have to worry about being alone with a holy god who loves you enough to die for you? no, you don't. and solitude is his way, listen, of preparing us for every day, difficulties and the hardships he knows we're going to face. so what happens? we spend time alone with him. and god begins to do some awesome things in our life. he's not going to do any other way. you have big prayer meetings and song fests and all the rest. god wants you by himself. he wants to reveal himself to you. he wants you to know him personally. not as god up in heaven. not god of the bible. he wants you to know him personally, intimately. you know i think about when people get married for example, if they genuinely love each other, they can't get enough of
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each other. suppose you got married and the next day he said or she said, so long, i'll see you in about a month. but i'll leave you a brand-new car. i'll leave you all the money you want. you can go anywhere you want to go, anything you want to do, i'll be back in a month. that's not the reason you got married. you got married because you wanted an intimate feeling of belonging. you wanted to belong to somebody. you wanted to feel that person. and so, he has two reasons. now, the third thing i want you to notice here is this. how do we experience this one thing to say. how do we experience this? and oftentimes people will think that solitude is synonymous with bible reading and prayer. i want to say again and again that's not it. reading the word for a short period of time, yes indeed. to get god oriented in your
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thinking. and how many times, and i think all of us will have to admit this. how many times have you gotten in prayer, heavenly father, next thing you know you're thinking about something else. amen? say it. amen. yeah, you're thinking about something else. so your mind just drifts off. you've left god up in heaven. you're down here worried about what will happen next. so here's what he wants. he wants us to open his word in order to focus on him. not my needs at this point. i want to focus on him. god, i want you to make yourself known to me. make yourself real to me, god. i want to sense your presence. that's what he wants. he wants us to sense his presence. in our life. and he's so willing to reveal himself to us if we're willing to allow him to do it.
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now, i learned this the hard way, i guess. but my mind used to drift like yours would drift. and but earlier in my life, i delivered newspapers, didn't live in a big house, so i found a place in my church where i could go down in the basement area. i shut four doors before i got to the sunday school classrooms and i could pray all i wanted to and pray out loud or silently if i wanted. there was no windows in that room because it was a basement. i learned a very important thing. if i went in there and closed the doors, closed all the doors between me, i was in there by myself and it was dark. it took me a little while to catch on to how important that was, but it became a habit in my life. and that is, if i want to be
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alone with god, watch this. i have to eliminate distractions. how do you eliminate distractions? i see no light. i hear no sounds. just god and me. no sounds. if you close your eyes, and you don't hear anything or your eyes can be open, but there's no light, you have no distractions. if you want to learn to fellowship with god who is holy and righteous and perfect and totally loving, you got to get rid of the distractions. and suzanne wesley had 19 children. john wesley and charles wesley were two great evangelists so she said when she wanted to get alone with god with all that

Mc Laughlin Group
CBS August 18, 2013 6:30am-7:00am EDT

News/Business. Lively discussion on the week's top news issues.

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on 8/18/2013